An anchorite is someone who, for religious reasons, chooses to live alone to lead an intensely prayer-focused life. They were required to take vows of stability and chose to be sealed inside cells attached to churches. King Henry VIII of England effectively ended this practice with the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1539. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word was first used in the 15th Century. It’s a Middle English word, with its ancestry in Medieval Latin “anchorita” and Greek “anachorein” (to withdraw).
Word Archaeology: anchorite
November 10, 2020